To the Newton Independent:
Parents of children in the Colfax-Mingo School District should know what their school board has been up to.
Teacher associates, bus drivers and others represented by AFSCME recently completed contract negotiations. AFSCME bargained in good faith and made concessions on health insurance at the board's request. Then, last month, the school board decided to unilaterally reduce the number of hours of all but a few teacher associates effectively REMOVING all insurance benefits from these associates.
Teacher associates help students who need additional assistance, including special education students. Teacher associates do important work for low pay - many make less than $20,000 per year - yet the board treated them like they were worthless.
Just this week, the board announced they were privatizing school buses and laying off every bus driver. They are letting go of experienced drivers with good safety records so that they can hire a company that will put profits ahead of your children's safety. We don't need strangers driving our kids.
I hope the people of the Colfax-Mingo School District contact their school board members and ask them why the school board doesn't value the work done by teacher associates and bus drivers.